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Massey 12 Hydro-Cracked Frame?


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#1 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 02:53 PM

Well a few weeks ago, after Tudor let me know that a hydro could probably handle both mowing and gardening chores, I was able to scoop up this nicely painted Massey 12 Hydro.
GE 057.JPG GE 058.JPG

It has a great paint job, just needs a few cosmetic items to look right, the front trim ring being one of them. I have been working this tractor down at my Dad's house to help me out there, and I've felt some odd things from under the seat, as if the frame were twisting when I went over some of his drainage ditches. I also found (sorry, no pics) that the backing plate which mounts the sleeve hitch not only is cracked, but that it was welded to the drawbar tongue AND THOSE WELDS FAILED! and the mounting plate bent. I tried to correct the frame twisting by drilling a hole through the backing plate and the drawbar and bolting things back together just in case the backing plate stiffened the assembly by being welded to the drawbar tongue. The twisting feeling continued afterward, so I started looking for a crack. Here are some pics where I think things may be cracked. I would plan to grind out the existing metal, weld it, then put a piece of 1/4x2 metal bar across the joint and weld that around the edges. Can anyone else see a crack in these pictures? Has anyone experienced a crack in this area? FYI, it is in the area right in front of the seat pan, and there is already a factory weld across the horizontal frame in this area.
GE 006.JPG

Also, how much prep should I do regarding fuel, transmission oil and the electrical system? I think the minimum would be to disconnect the battery ground. Should I disconnect the engine from the regulator as well? Should I drain the gas tank, trans, and engine oil?

Thanks

One last thing, this tractor has no adjustment stops! and it looks like a proper massey part, as you can see the part number on the axle. My other tractors have adjustment stops. Anybody else seen one like this?
GE 011.JPG

Attached Thumbnails

  • GE 007.JPG
  • GE 009.JPG

Edited by HowardsMF155, April 21, 2012 - 02:57 PM.

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#2 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 05:41 PM

They used 2 different front axles in the MF12hydros, early ones had fixed stops.Sometime in 1969 they started the adjustable stops. Serial# 507950 and up
MF10s 1969, serial#16182 and up used the adjustable stops, before that they had fixed stops.

For some reason I can't upload pictures or use full Editor???

Edited by DH1, April 21, 2012 - 05:52 PM.

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#3 ckjakline OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 06:30 PM

I had bought a mf 12 hydro for parts.Didn't know anything about it.Engine ran hydro didn,t work.I used it for parts.When i pulled it apart i seen that it had been welded at the same spot,but didn't look as nice.It must be a common problem.Mine also had a weld on top of frame also.

Edited by ckjakline, April 21, 2012 - 06:31 PM.

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#4 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 07:03 PM

Looks to me like a vertical crack here:
GE 006.JPG
Can't answer your other questions, though.



For those of you having upload problems, clear your browsers cache. That might help. F5 button might help also.
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#5 Enginerod ONLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 08:22 PM

Like KennyP said, the vertical weld looks cracked, the black discoloration and the flaking next to the weld are telltale signs in my experience. Shouldn't be a problem though, just grind it out and re-weld.
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#6 tinner OFFLINE  

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Posted April 21, 2012 - 09:47 PM

You should just have to disconnect the ground from the battery. If you can put something between the welding area and the gas tank you should be ok. Gas fumes from and empty tank are more dangerous than gas. You may want to put a fan blowing away the fumes.
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#7 DH1 ONLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 06:48 AM

Now it works, here's a picture of both types.
electric massey 011.jpg
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#8 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 06:53 AM

Now it works, here's a picture of both types.
electric massey 011.jpg


Yep! The top one is how my other tractors look, the bottom is how this new-to-me one looks.

#9 KennyP OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 08:23 AM

If you are having an over travel problem with the lower one, pull the spindles and add some weld to the contact points on them. Put it back together and grind excess off as needed to get it right.
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#10 IamSherwood OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 12:16 PM

"When will it fall through the ice" sacrifice, had the frame cracked just like that. No pictures
available.
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#11 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 12:39 PM

"When will it fall through the ice" sacrifice, had the frame cracked just like that. No pictures
available.


So when DID it fall through the ice?

What do you think of my plan to grind out a "V", weld it, then put a piece of steel across the joint?

#12 TUDOR OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 12:48 PM

Well a few weeks ago, after Tudor let me know that a hydro could probably handle both mowing and gardening chores, I was able to scoop up this nicely painted Massey 12 Hydro.

It has a great paint job, just needs a few cosmetic items to look right, the front trim ring being one of them. I have been working this tractor down at my Dad's house to help me out there, and I've felt some odd things from under the seat, as if the frame were twisting when I went over some of his drainage ditches. I also found (sorry, no pics) that the backing plate which mounts the sleeve hitch not only is cracked, but that it was welded to the drawbar tongue AND THOSE WELDS FAILED! and the mounting plate bent. I tried to correct the frame twisting by drilling a hole through the backing plate and the drawbar and bolting things back together just in case the backing plate stiffened the assembly by being welded to the drawbar tongue. The twisting feeling continued afterward, so I started looking for a crack. Here are some pics where I think things may be cracked. I would plan to grind out the existing metal, weld it, then put a piece of 1/4x2 metal bar across the joint and weld that around the edges. Can anyone else see a crack in these pictures? Has anyone experienced a crack in this area? FYI, it is in the area right in front of the seat pan, and there is already a factory weld across the horizontal frame in this area.
GE 006.JPG

Also, how much prep should I do regarding fuel, transmission oil and the electrical system? I think the minimum would be to disconnect the battery ground. Should I disconnect the engine from the regulator as well? Should I drain the gas tank, trans, and engine oil?


You found the one weak spot that I found using the FEL. It took me 3 repairs before I figured out what the problem was and cured it permanently.

These are torquey little beasts. When using a front blade or FEL, the blade or bucket will stop when loaded, but the back wheels will keep driving ahead and buckle the frame at its weakest point. Eventually, the splice fails right where your camera is pointing.

Grind it out and clean it up, fill the gas tank, disconnect the battery, close the hood, and weld it. As long as the hydro is buttoned up, it'll be fine. You can add a backer if you want, but a better way, if space is available, is to add a brace from the frame ahead of the splice back to and bearing on the axle if you plan on using an implement that you push, like a front blade or snowblower, or even if you're going to use it to push cars around.

The proper plow harness for the MF 12 hooks on the hitch plate and is usually enough to protect that splice. From the damage that you have listed, I suspect that at some time that tractor had a front blade and was doing some heavy dirt work which beat up the rear hitch and they made a mod to push the blade from further forward on the frame to bypass the damage, thus exercising the splice, instead of fixing the hitch properly. It gets your attention when you look down and find the back wheels advancing to the fenders when the front of the tractor is stopped dead.

The safest place for pushing is from the axle tubes if you want to eliminate this type of damage. When the blade stops, so does the axle. No more flex. I ran the FEL for 5 more years with no more problems after I added the braces back to the axle tubes from the loader post subframe. My FEL subframe recommendation now, for all GTs, is to mount it tight to the front of the axle tubes and bolted to the frame as close to the front axle as possible. Fastening it at the midpoint of the frame is a waste of good fasteners.

Since it seems to be a normal failure point (I thought it was just me overloading the poor tractor), I would strongly recommend that anyone doing a frame off refurbishment take a good hard look at that splice, and repair or modify for strength as required. It appears to be a manufacturers error in design, and not so much from abuse as I originally thought.
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#13 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 22, 2012 - 02:13 PM

Thanks for your input Bob. Since I know you've broken a couple, if you hadn't chimed in I was going to PM you :bounce: :bounce:

PS The damage to the back area looks more like someone repeatedly hit rocks and stumps using the sleeve hitch. Hitting something with the snow plow attached to the drawbar would not have bent the back plate nor popped the welds like it did. I gotta post some pics.

Edited by HowardsMF155, April 22, 2012 - 02:16 PM.


#14 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 08:27 PM

OK! What a day! I pulled the tractor around where I could work on it without damaging my lawn and close enough to the house to use power for the arc welder. I knew I wanted to lay the tractor on its side so I could more easily weld, as not only do I lack formal training, but it has also been over 13 years since I last arc welded, prior to the loss of sight in one eye. I was absolutely DELIGHTED when I ran my first weld (on scrap) and found that I could still do it. I'm sure the fancy photo darkening helmut I bought helped a lot, but still!! WOOHOO!
I removed the battery, drained the gas tank, engine oil, and the reserve hydro tank. Then it was time to set the tractor on it's side.
First, the carnage:

GE 004.JPG
GE 009.JPG
GE 011.JPG
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#15 HowardsMF155 OFFLINE  

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Posted April 29, 2012 - 08:52 PM

I forgot to add in the above post, the frame was cracked at the weld on both sides of the frame. I just didn't get a picture of the other side. Also, the last picture shows where the back plate pulled away from the drawbar tongue, on both sides. Further, the back plate was cracked through front to back where the welds failed. On to the repairs:
GE 005.JPG
I used C-clamps and brute force to pull the two pieces of metal together, then welded them.

GE 006.JPG GE 007.JPG GE 008.JPG

As you can see above, I ground out the crack, welded it, then ground it flat. I put a piece of steel over the joint, then welded it all around.

GE 012.JPG GE 013.JPG

The other side was a bit more problematic. The vertical rails do not line up, which may contribute to the failure of the frame at this point. I ground out a "V" along the crack and tried to build up the area, but wasn't satisfied with the results, I added some 1/4 flat steel and welded it along the lower frame, then took more steel, twisted it so it would lay flat on both the upper rail and the newly welded piece of steel, then welded it all together. That should keep the frame solid for years to come.
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